A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

2011 Harley-Davidson Blackline

01/21/2011 @ 7:32 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

2011 Harley Davidson Blackline 2011 Harley Davidson Blackline 635x423

Fresh from the International Motorcycle Show’s stop in New York, Harley-Davdison has released a new motorcycle for its 2011 line-up that’s set to be another entry point into the Milwaukee brand. Based off the Softail platform, and a part of Harley’s Dark Custom thought process on design, the 2011 Harley-Davidson Blackline has that hardtail bobber look, and that features a new asymmetrical fuel tank styling and split drag handlebars.

At the core of the Blackline is a rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B v-twin motor that makes 89 lbs•ft of peak torque at 3,250 rpm, which is mated to a six-speed transmission. New from the Harley-Davidson parts bin are the split drag handlebars that connect directly to the top yoke, giving a near shoulder-height arm position.

If you’re looking for that old-school bobber look on a Harley-Davidson this summer, when gas prices will surely climb to ridiculous levels once again, the Blackline with its $15,499 MSRP, and 54 MPG highway / 35 MPG fuel economy rating might be the place to start. Photos of noticeably rebellious 20-somethings and press release highlights after the jump.

Key features of the 2011 Blackline include:

  • Powertrain styling
    • Powertrain is finished in gloss black powdercoat on the rocker box covers, the crankcase, the outer primary cover, and the transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.
    • Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B™ V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 89 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3250 rpm.
    • 6-Speed Cruise Drive® Transmission.
  • Round air cleaner cover in brilliant chrome.
  • Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.
  • Profile Laced Aluminum wheels with black anodized rims. Front wheel is 21 x 2.15 inches; rear wheel is 16 x 3 inches. Dunlop® D402 tires are MH90-21 front and MU85B16 rear.
  • FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.
  • Split Drag™ internally-wired handlebars mount directly to the top triple clamp.
  • Asymmetric five-gallon Softail fuel tank is clean on the left side, with a low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die cast “Blackline” trim panel flowing down the center of the tank is just high enough to cover the fuel pump hardware.
  • Analog speedometer on a triple-clamp mount that also holds indicator lights. LCD screen on the speedometer includes low-fuel warning and “miles to empty” display function.
  • Bobbed rear fender with combination stop/tail/turn lights in black housings, and a composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.
  • Raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat.
  • One-piece, two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson. Gap between the nose of seat and fuel tank exposes the top of the frame.
  • 5.75-inch diameter headlamp in gloss black shell.
  • Polished forward foot controls.
  • Over/under chrome shotgun exhaust.
  • Optional Security Package with Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Security System

Source: Harley-Davidson

Comment:

  1. Other Sean says:

    As I’m sure salty old cruiser dogs can’t tell the difference between plastic “jap bikes”, nothing about this sets it off as new, to my eye.

  2. Pete says:

    I agree. I don’t see a new bike. Standard Softail with a few bits bolted on. A few cues from the Dyna bikes. I’m sure what they are going for is the price point. This will no doubt be HD’s bargain Softail. My guess is around $12K. Still no bargain. No thanks.

  3. Updating as I get more info, but MSRP is $15,499.

  4. hombre malo says:

    All new should mean a new frame and motor IMO. Otherwise its just a parts bin special

  5. wforider says:

    Looks metric to me

  6. Mike L. says:

    Perhaps it’s time to divide A&R into a normal section, and a “who-gives-a-fuck” section.

  7. 305ed says:

    Since Harley’s generate more responses and sales, let’s put the Japanese, Italian and Brit bikes in the “who gives a fuck” section.

  8. RGR says:

    I’ll keep my Japanese and Brit bikes thank you very much. You’ll never see my ass on a POS HD. Let’s put 305ed in the “who gives a fuck” section.

  9. Greg says:

    Anyone look at the video? Those people are the best looking dirtbags I’ve ever seen!

  10. Bruce Monighan says:

    Churn, churn, churn. Nothing but a parts bin bike. Harley has done nothing original since the V-Rod (Buell doesn’t count, they did not do that). I honestly don’t get their sustainablity strategy. They have to know their demographics are approaching death and not X’ers or Yer’s coming on board. How long can you ride a dead horse?

    This is a company that needs a major rethink and restructuring. Their “profitablity” as recently reported is from the finance division not selling motorcycles. I can’t figure if it is just arrogance that keeps a real change from happening, fear of alienating their base, or if they are just clueless.

  11. Richard Gozinya says:

    That’s what I was thinking Greg, I’ve never seen anybody that pretty on or even near a Harley that wasn’t being paid to do it.

  12. Doctor Jelly says:

    Using the black cylinders and matte heads makes it look pieced together, as if you built it from parts yourself. Same with the mix and match black/chrome parts (upper rocker: black, lower rocker:chrome, crankcase:black, derby/cam compartment cover:chrome, etc, etc). Maybe an attempt to appeal to the guys that wish they knew how to build their own rat bike?

    It’s nothing new as stated above, but this is what they do. Have you ever counted how many models they have based off of 3 engines (sporty, BT, Revolution)? So quit your bitching, it’s nothing new from them, it’s nothing new from you.

  13. irksome says:

    *yawn*

    As to 305s comment, I’ll grant him response, but sales? You’d have to look to Triumph, BMW and Ducati to find any profitability these last couple of years.

    Perhaps a “Who Gives A Fuck, The Company Will Be Dead In A Few Years” section would be more appropriate.

  14. Scooter says:

    God can’t Harley ever come out with something new? Every year they go to the parts bin and come up with a new color combination and another weird name. I am so sick of Harley Davidson and there stupid names they put on there bikes. This is just another parts bin bike like the rest of there line. 1960′s bike at 2011 price…… The pirate crowd with the 3 foot tall handle bars will cream there pants with this “new” bike.